You’ve sold your house and you’re now looking for your forever home. So here’s what to do if you don’t want to let social restrictions stop you from finding your dream home.
If you’re selling a home too, then you may already have a conveyancing solicitor. If not then now’s the right time to start your hunt.
What to Look For in a Conveyancing Solicitor
There are certain things that are key to finding a good conveyancing solicitor. These typically include:
Price – a higher price doesn’t necessarily mean a better solicitor. And a lower price doesn’t mean a poor quality one. Shop around and get a price that’s acceptable to you, for the work required.
Reviews – always check the reviews and recommendations where you can.
Accreditations – is the solicitor accredited in the field of conveyancing? It’s usually best to choose a specialist over a generalist.
When you start out looking for conveyancing solicitors consider things like communication. It can be a slow process and often there’s not a lot to update a client with. Don’t get frustrated, but agree on how and when you’ll communicate so you’re aware from the start.
Arranging Property Viewings
When it comes to buying and selling both the buyer and the vendor need to be cautious. You should also make sure the agent takes the precautions seriously too, particularly if you’re shielding or in a particular risk group.
The same questions apply to the agent. If you have any concerns or you feel the estate agents aren’t taking the precautions seriously you should not feel obligated to continue until you are happy that the right precautions are being taken.
If there is someone in a vulnerable category in the house the agent should ask if they can be removed for the period of the viewing, for their safety.
When You go to View a Property
Technology means you can probably cut down contact with others by making the viewings virtual. Many estate agents are now offering virtual tours, which can give an idea if you’re going to like a house in the first place.
If you’re unsure you can always arrange a viewing in person, but it can really help to weed out those ones that really aren’t for you.
As well as the safety aspect you’ll probably find a virtual viewing saves you a lot of time. Imagine viewing a house from the comfort of your office. You won’t need to take time off work or arrange childcare (these can be issues when you’re trying to find your perfect home).
You should sanitise your hands before entering and leaving the property and ideally, it should involve as few people as possible. That means you should try to leave the children at home if possible. If the adults viewing are from different households, it’s advised they book separate viewings.
And all parties should maintain a distance of at least 1m, but 2m where possible. You should not touch any surfaces.
If the vendor is in a high-risk or vulnerable group, you may be asked to wear a face mask during your visit.
Keeping Visit Times to a Minimum
It’s good practice to keep the viewing time to a minimum. Obviously larger houses will take longer to look round, as might second viewings. However you should aim for a 15-minute viewing time where possible.
Any feedback or questions can be discussed outside the house after the viewing. This will give you longer inside the house and reduce the risks of exposed contact time, especially if any of the parties are in a high risk group.
Small things like being on time can help, alongside letting the agent know if you are delayed for any reason. This again helps reduce contact time with other people. It’s also advised to arrange viewings at a time when there’s less commuter traffic if you are using public transport to get there.
Buying or selling a house during a global pandemic doesn’t need to be impossible. You just need to take extra precautions. And take advantage of technology.
Use virtual viewings where you can, if nothing else it will whittle down the ones that you definitely don’t want without you having to leave the comfort of your own home.